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Appeal against ban on The March to Putrajaya will be heard on Jan 4

Press Statements

 

press-stThe Court of Appeal will hear the appeal against the seizure and banning of Kim Quek’s book The March to Putrajaya – Malaysia’s New Era is at Hand on Friday (Jan 4).

The hearing of this appeal, which is against the judgment given by High Court Judge Rohana Yusof (Appellate and Special Power Division) in favour of the Home Minister earlier in July 2011, will be held at 9:00am at Court of Appeal No.5, Level 1, at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya.

On Aug 19, 2010, the police swooped on bookshops across the country to confiscate the said book, which is a collection of Kim Quek’s articles on the local political scene written and published in various media between 2005 and 2010.  No reason was given for the book seizure.

The Home Ministry finally announced on Sept 30, 2010 via Bernama that the book was banned through gazette on Sept 27, which was more than one month after the book was confiscated. The ban was imposed on the grounds of “prejudicial to public order”.

The author applied through his lawyers, Kaneslingam & Co on Nov 4, 2010 for leave for judicial review of the banning and seizure of the book.  Leave was granted on Jan 24, 2011.

Following the High Court hearing of the case on June 23, 2011, Judge Rohana Yusof delivered her oral judgment on July 14, 2011 upholding the ban and seizure, followed by her written judgment issued in February 2012.

Lawyers for the author immediately filed the memorandum of appeal, which among others, highlighted the complete lack of evidence of the book being a threat to public order.

They also faulted the judge’s uncritical acceptance in toto of the allegations by the Home Minister while ignoring the facts and legal argument presented by the applicants.

Such a judgment, unless rectified, is tantamount to handing the Minister a license to ban books at his whim and fancy, unsupported by evidence and without accountability, said Kim Quek.

He added that the arbitrary power to suppress legitimate dissent so endowed and endorsed by the court will naturally encourage totalitarianism, apart from wanton breach of an individual’s fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution.

“It is now up to the Court of Appeal to apply the remedy,” he urged.

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